When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
RUGBY UNION: Exiles are pegged back as Price's late try seals draw
10:00am Tuesday 27th August 2013 in Rugby
London Welsh 16, Llanelli Scarlets 16
CRAIG Price’s last-gasp converted try salvaged a draw for Llanelli Scarlets at the Kassam Stadium in a game that London Welsh had led 13-3.
Josh Lewis added the extras from in front of the posts to level the match, giving Welsh a sense of deja vu from 12 months previously at Parc y Scarlets.
On that occasion, the Scarlets were indebted to Scott Williams’s late try to snatch victory from Welsh hands.
The Exiles, who fielded different teams in each half, were gifted the early initiative when a wild pass forced Nic Reynolds to touch down over his own tryline.
But the home side couldn’t make the most of it in the face of some aggressive Scarlets defence.
Fly half Aled Thomas, who scored 549 points in 92 games during his time at London Welsh, opened the scoring for the Scarlets with a penalty.
Gordon Ross had the chance to level following a thumping tackle by Rob Andrew on Reynolds, but the home No 10 was off target.
He made up for it when given another chance, which followed centre Tom May’s half break, and then edged the Exiles 6-3 in front after they attacked well to release wing Seb Stegmann on the left.
Twin brothers James and Rob Lewis combined to take the home side to within sight of the Scarlets’ tryline, only for prop Nathan Trevett’s pass inside to be intercepted by Dion Jones.
A 25-metre drive from the Welsh pack ended with Scarlets prop Shaun Hopkins being yellow-carded for dragging it down.
Ross missed a penalty for the second time, and the home side would have to wait until the stroke of half-time before taking advantage of their numerical superiority.
Once again, James and Rob Lewis were on the same wavelength, with Stegmann on hand to finish and Ross added the extras.
Hopkins returned to the fray four minutes into the second half, just in time to see Aled Thomas cut the deficit with his second penalty.
Wing Joe Ajuwa and May combined nicely up the Welsh right, only for the Exiles captained to be bundled into touch, while Scarlets’ Rhodri Williams displayed some nifty footwork under pressure inside his own 22.
Aside from those moments, attacking opportunities were limited, with the action contained to the middle third.
Josh Lewis’ penalty brought the away side to within four points at 13-9, but a knock-on straight from the restart allowed Welsh onto the front foot.
Ajuwa held off the tacklers on a looping run, only for the final pass to fail to go to hand with the tryline begging.
Fly half Will Robinson’s penalty ensured Welsh didn’t come away empty handed, with Lewis then seeing his strike come back off a post.
Twice Welsh might have put two scores between themselves and the Scarlets, and made the game safe.
First, Robinson’s penalty drifted just wide and then lock Pete Browne broke through with Robinson taking it on, but Welsh couldn’t make the opening count with the ball eventually lost forward.
That gave the Scarlets one final chance, and they took it. Tapping and going, and keeping the ball alive, Rhodri Williams put Lewis away and he had No 8 Price in support to go in under the sticks.
London Welsh (1st half): Jewell, Stegmann, J Lewis, May (capt), Scott, Ross, R Lewis, Trevett, Titterrell, Edwards, Andrew, Corker, Lees, Kirwan, Stedman.
London Welsh (2nd half): Jewell, Ajuwa, J Lewis, May (capt), Crane, Ross, R Lewis, Tideswell, Morris, Griffiths, West, P Browne, D Browne, Denbee, Pienaar. Reps: Awcock, Mama, Luke, Robinson, Cook.
Scarlets: D Jones, Evans, Reynolds, Adam Warren, Aaron Warren, A Thomas, Davies, Hopkins, Myhill, Manu, Ball, Kelly, Turnbull (capt), D Thomas, Price. Reps: G Thomas, Harris, R Jones, C Jones, Bennett, Rawlins, Timani, R Williams, Lewis, S Williams, Morgans, Knight.
Referee: W Barnes (London).
Comments are closed on this article.